With all craziness unfolding in our world today, many Christians are struggling with frustration, anger, and disgust — both toward the culture in general and toward other Christians who are going along with whatever seems most socially correct. Maybe you have wondered how to take a stand for truth without being spiteful, embittered, and judgmental in the process. In my new blog video, I share the biblical definition of the kind of “judging” that Christians are called to — it’s an operation of love and not fleshly pride. And when we stand boldly for truth in the right spirit, the world can be turned upside down.
One of the reasons that this is a difficult question to answer is because it starts with a premise point of “being judgmental”. Just the word itself is bad, and none of us want to be judgmental. It’s funny because the Bible will say, “Do not judge lest ye be judged.” And then it’s going to go on and it’s going to say, “You need to judge this. You need to judge that.” As a parent, I need to make judgments in my home. It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? But it means making a decision, like like you would make a legal decision in a court of law. In my home as a father, I need to make decisions. My kids are having a squabble, I need to make a decision on how to handle it. That’s called judgment according to Scripture. And yet there’s two types of judging — that is a judging of the flesh, which is of self-interest, for my own gain, for my own position, for my own preservation, and one that is of the Spirit.
We are actually called to judge — but according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. How can I influence the culture without being judgmental? I need to make decision in this culture. I need to make decision on what is a lie and what is truth. I need to make a decision on what is dark and what is light. I need to make a decision on what is right and what is wrong. And the world doesn’t want that. They don’t want to hear that certain types of behavior are wrong. So as a result, it pins a Christian into a cold corner. We always hear, “you can’t be judgmental.” No, you shouldn’t be judgmental out of the flesh, because your motivation should be love as a Christian. Your desire should be to see people set free. But if I make a statement like, “Homosexuality is wrong,” we all know that’s culturally incorrect. And how can I impact the culture if I make such a statement?
Yet, if I am motivated by love, my desire is to say, “Look, I know that if you keep heading in this direction, you’re going to die. And I love you too much to do nothing.” So therefore, even though I’m making a judgment on something and that sounds terrible, I’m actually doing it because I love and I’m motivated to see someone rescued. That’s Christianity. And so Christianity engages with a culture in truth and in grace, in love, in mercy, but also with a keen eye towards justice. It wants to rightly divide and discern in every situation. We have some situations today that are very difficult. Black Lives Matter is one of those situations that in the year 2020 has emerged onto the scene of time. And just in the phrasiology itself, “Black Lives Matter,” we as Christians say, of course. Of course black lives matter — that’s a given.
However, the organization itself is godless. It is anti-male. It is anti-white. It is anti-normal sexuality. It’s in favor of whatever form of sexuality is opposite of a biblical worldview. In other words, it’s a smack in the face of the Biblical framework. So how do I, as a Christian, effectively engage in something like that without being “judgmental?” Well, I need to make a judgment on what is right and wrong and what is lie and what is truth. So I can say, “Look, that is an unhealthy organization, and its basis and its operation is unhealthy. However, I do agree that there can be racial prejudice at large in our culture, and that needs to be mitigated against and it needs to be changed.” If the Church is participating in any type of racial prejudice, absolutely that should be dealt with. So it’s knowing how to separate out these issues.
And ironically, in that, I’m changing the world but also in making a judgment. And so it’s not the removal of judgment, it’s the removal of what we would probably term “judgmentalism” which we would say is out of the flesh, it’s out of the wrong spirit. It’s out of spite, it’s out of anger, it’s out of hatred. That’s not going to help anyone. Love, mercy, kindness changes the world. If you’d like to take these truths deeper, join us here at Ellerslie for one of our upcoming discipleship programs.